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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Date published:
September 08, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Reus takes time off from cycling, return is questionable

    Dutch rider Kai Reus (Rabobank) will get another day in the leader's jersey.
    Article published:
    September 07, 2010, 16:07 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Rabobank gives rider a year to consider his future

    Kai Reus is taking a one-year leave of absence from cycling, and it is not known whether he will return at all, Rabobank announced Tuesday afternoon. General manager Harold Knebel said that the team was willing to give the 25-year-old time to consider his future.

    Reus suffered serious head injuries in a training crash in July 2007, which led to him being placed in an induced coma for 12 days. He did not return to racing until September 2008. In 2009 he won a stage at the Tour of Britain and wore the leader's jersey for three days.

    This season he was diagnosed with mononucleosis and has ridden very few races. His last race was the Tour of Austria in early July, which he abandoned on the third stage.

    "Kai said a few months ago that he had doubts about his future," Knebel said. "I advised him to think about it in peace. Kai subsequently went to America and after his return, said he had his affairs lined up. He wanted to quit. Of course it is a very difficult and emotional decision."

    As to whether Reus might return to racing, Knebel said, "For Kai himself it is difficult to gauge where it goes. He must now choose what to do." The team will stay in contact with him. "There will always be a special relationship with Kai. He can always count on our continued support."

    Technical director Erik Breukink called it "a difficult but courageous decision". He added that it was "not surprising, because it was a long process. He no longer had the level of last year in Britain. You have to live and give everything at the highest level. After all these setbacks, he can no longer do that."

    Breukink concluded, "Cycling will lose a great talent, but it is especially important that he personally finds the best new way. Kai will step back and get back to peace."

  • Riis explains Schleck and O'Grady expulsion

    Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis
    Article published:
    September 07, 2010, 18:17 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Saxo Bank duo stayed out until 5 a.m. ahead of stage

    Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis has revealed that he sent Andy Schleck and Stuart O'Grady home from the Vuelta a España because they stayed out until 5 a.m. last night. The duo were withdrawn by their team ahead of today's stage 10 from Tarragona to Vilanova i la Geltrú.

    "They haven't respected the rules of the team," Riis said after the stage. "Whether it's one glass or ten, at 5 a.m., it's inexcusable. I've done what I had to do. The rules of the team are the same for everyone. We are professionals and we have to act professionally. I had to take this decision. It's up to them to assume the consequences of what they've done."

    In a statement earlier today, Schleck had admitted to having a drink after dinner with O'Grady and said that while he accepted Riis's position, he felt that the punishment was too harsh.

    Riis also confirmed that Schleck and O'Grady's suspension is applicable solely to the Vuelta. "The punishment is enough, it won't go beyond the Vuelta," he said.

    This means that Schleck will be able to ride the Tour of Lombardy, which is his main end of season objective. It will be his last race for Saxo Bank before moving to the new Luxembourg ProTour team for 2011. Schleck had already announced that he would not ride the world championships.

    Stuart O'Grady, however, will have to compensate for missing two weeks of racing at the Vuelta with intense training ahead of the Worlds. His compatriot Simon Gerrans is in a similar position, albeit for very different reasons. The Australian abandoned the Spanish race earlier than planned due to Team Sky's decision to withdraw from the race following the death of soigneur Txema Gonzalez.

    Fränk Schleck remains at the Vuelta but will have to do without the support of his brother in the crucial stages in the Pyrenees.

  • Rodriguez aiming to be world's number one

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) took the leader's jersey on stage 10.
    Article published:
    September 07, 2010, 20:58 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Vuelta's new leader hopes to gain time in Andorra

    Team Katusha's Joaquin "Purito" Rodriguez scored an important victory by taking over the Vuelta a España race lead on stage 10 to Vilanova i la Geltrù. With a two-second time bonus for an intermediate sprint, he inched ahead of the previous leader Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi), and will now wear the coveted red leader's jersey in his home region of Catalunya.

    After soaking up his time on the podium, Rodriguez announced that he is not only riding to bring home the overall Vuelta title in Madrid, but in doing so he hopes to overtake Tour de France winner Alberto Contador as the world's number one ranked rider.

    After winning the Tour of Catalunya, the GP Miguel Indurain, stage 5 of the Tour of the Basque country and stage 12 of the Tour de France in Mende, the Catalan rider also has the boundless ambition to win the world championship in Geelong, Australia, on October 3rd.

    Toward his immediate goal, Rodriguez fought hard for the intermediate time bonus at the 40km mark of Tuesday's stage and, coming in just behind sprinters Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar, succeeded in pushing ahead of Anton to the race lead.

    "The value of this jersey is higher because of the hard work we've done for it than the fact of taking the lead in my region of Catalunya," Rodriguez said. "I've worked so hard for this jersey at the beginning of the Vuelta. I wanted it earlier but it's better now than never. Every rider has his own view on tactics. Some prefer to take the leader's jersey the latest possible but for me, any advantage is good to take."

    There is one major obstacle to his success in the Vuelta, and that is the 46km time trial on stage 17 in Peñafiel. "I need to gain seconds anywhere before the time trial," he said. "Should the positions and time difference be the same before Peñafiel, I wouldn't stay in the top five, so I have to gain more time.

    "We've worked a lot already at the head of the peloton even...

  • Eurobike 2010: Cyclingnews' complete video coverage

    Vincent Tomar from Canyon explains how basalt is used for damping in the frame of the Canyon aero road bike.
    Article published:
    September 08, 2010, 0:31 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Video highlights from 36 companies

    At Cyclingnews we've already comprehensively kept you up to date with the 2010 Eurobike trade show in words and pictures. Now it's time to unleash our complete video coverage, in conjunction with Bikeradar.com, of the world's biggest bicycle show.

    Our video crew was hard at work combing the halls of Friedrichshafen, Germany to bring you three-five minute clips from 36 different companies.

    We've covered 3T, Bionicon, Bottecchia, Canyon, Cinelli, Colnago, Cube, Easton, Elite, Fizik, Focus, Fondriest, Giant, GT, Las, Milani, Museeuw, Mynav, Norco, Pivot, Profile Design, Reynolds, Ridley, Rose, Rotor, Rudy Project, Santa Cruz, SciCon, Scott, Selle Italia, Selle Royal, Shimano, Specialized, Tacx, Vittoria and Wilier.

    If you want to know more about what any of these companies have in store for next season, go to eurobike.bikeradar.com and click on the relevant video.

  • Danielson destined for Vuelta revival

    Garmin-Transitions' Thomas Danielson shows the signs of a big day in the saddle.
    Article published:
    September 08, 2010, 2:17 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    American climber feeling good before the Pyrénées

    Lying in 15th overall, less than two minutes behind new race leader Joaquin Rodriguez, Garmin-Transitions' Tom Danielson is in a situation to repeat his top 10 performance at the 2006 Vuelta a España when he finished sixth.

    But the American told Cyclingnews that he won't be setting any clear objectives for overall ambitions until stage 17, a 46km individual time trial with the probability of a lot of wind in Peñafiel.

    "I had troubles with the punchy finishes of the first week of the Vuelta and I'm glad to approach climbs that suit me better," Danielson said at the start of stage 10 in Tarragona. "Every time I felt great all day but I couldn't go with those guys like Igor Anton and Rodriguez, who are very explosive."

    The 32-year-old enjoyed the productive training he had while his team-mates were busy supporting Ryder Hesjedal at the Tour de France. "I trained in Colorado in July," he explained. "I just had a baby, Steven, and I spent time with him too. Then I finished eighth at the Tour of Poland. It went all good there and it built my confidence for the Vuelta."

    The UCI points Danielson scored finishing in the top 10 in Poland actually qualified a ninth rider for the US at the world championships later this month; it was the second last race before the deadline of August 15.

    Before the Polish event, only eight American riders appeared on the world ranking, which would have limited the participation to the same number at the race in Australia if it wasn't for Danielson's last minute performance.

    "At the Vuelta I'm trying to stay more calm than last year and I won't set any goal for myself until stage 17," he said. Stage 10 was another indication of his good form as he looked fresher than many other riders at the finish in Vilanova i la Geltrù.

    "I thought they would go faster on the climb," he said of the Alto del Rat Penat where all the overall contenders eventually marked each other....

  • Reactions from the Vuelta's 10th stage

    Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) leads Xavier Tondo (Cervelo TestTeam) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas - Doimo) up the day's final climb.
    Article published:
    September 08, 2010, 4:05 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Leaders mark time while the break goes for glory

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) - 38th on stage, third overall @ 0:04: "The riders from Xacobeo-Galicia set the pace on the Alto del Rat Penat. I suffered a little bit at the beginning of the climb as it's always hard to find the race rhythm again the day after a rest day but I felt good at the end.

    "I spoke with [Italian national coach Paolo] Bettini during the rest day and he said that we'll speak again after the Vuelta. For now, he'll let me focus on the Vuelta exclusively. I'm in a perfect position for now. I hope to do well again in the Pyrénées."

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) - 13th on stage, 14th overall @ 1:51: "When I was in the breakaway, it was obvious that Katusha didn't want to let me go. Had I been the only rider from Omega Pharma-Lotto in the front group, I probably would have continued with them but we also had Greg van Avermaet.

    "I asked him how he felt and he answered positively, so I decided to give a chance to the breakaway to succeed without me. I've tried to score points for the green jersey. We never know. In Madrid it could be decided by a very few points only."

    Christophe Le Mével (Française des Jeux) - seventh on stage, 28th overall @ 5:37: "The difference wasn't big enough when I passed first at the top of the Rat Penat. Moreno (Andalucia-Cajasur) favoured Erviti's breakaway.

    "Behind him, we didn't combine our efforts. Personally I feel better but at the end of the day I'm disappointed because I don't win the stage and I don't regain much time either [one minute]."

    Romain Zingle (Cofidis) - second on stage, 75th overall @ 41:29: "I didn't want to have spent the whole day in the breakaway for nothing. This was my first breakaway at the Vuelta. I was aiming for a result. Erviti played it well.

    "Behind him, I took my chance by attacking at the one kilometre mark. Ten Dam came...

  • Transfer news: Geox signs Duarte, Wyss and more

    Fabio Andres Duarte (Colombia)
    Article published:
    September 08, 2010, 6:28 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Astana signs Australia's Clarke

    Team Geox, which will form out of the current Footon-Servetto squad, confirmed the signing of 10 young riders for 2011. Joining team leaders Carlos Sastre and Denis Menchov will be Rafael Valls, Arkaitz Durán, Noe Gianetti, Fabio Felline, Marco Corti and Matthias Brandle, all of whom are members of Footon-Servetto.

    New to the squad for 2011 will be former U23 World Champion Fabio Duarte (Café de Colombia); Italian neo-pro Matteo Pelucchi (Trevigiani Dynamon Bottoli); Slovenian Marko Kump (Adria Mobil), winner of the U23 Ronde van Vlaanderen, and Marcel Wyss from the Cèrvelo Test Team.

    "We have always been know for seeing and finding young talent, and I'm sure some of these riders will be leading world cycling in the near future," said team manager Mauro Gianetti. "For them it's going to be a great boost to be able to learn from riders like Sastre and Menchov and discover the secrets of the sport."

    In other transfer news, Astana has signed on Australian Simon Clarke, 24, from the ISD-Neri squad. The 2008 national champion of Australia signed a one-year deal.

  • Cooke extends Saxo Bank contract

    Baden Cooke (Saxo Bank) couldn't crack the top 10 today.
    Article published:
    September 08, 2010, 6:49 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian adds another year at Riis' team

    Team Saxo Bank has extended Baden Cooke's contract for another year, the Australian signing on to ride the 2011 season with Bjarne Riis' squad.

    The 32-year-old will continue at the team, which will be known as Saxo Bank-SunGard in 2011, having moved there at the end of 2009 and developed into a key domestique for its Spring Classics campaign. That was seen during this year's editions of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, where he did vital work for Fabian Cancellara, who won both races.

    "I'm very happy to able to continue on this fantastic team. It's been a great season with a lot of new and exciting experiences and I'm looking forward to another season," said Cooke.

    "I'm going to work really hard this coming winter to be able to hit the spring classics in peak shape," he added.

    And while team owner Bjarne Riis has had to contend with the threat posed by the new Luxembourg outfit - built by two of his ex-staff members - which has already poached several of his key riders, he's pleased the Australian will remain at the squad for another season.

    "Baden has proven to be a solid rider for the team and a great overall support even though he has been struck by injuries this season. I'm sure he has more in store for us and he might just become a key figure during the spring classics in the coming season," said Riis.